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Imagine there is road trip so complete, you drive from the mountains aside idyllic lakes and glaciers towards medieval villages. Well, there is, it’s called the Grand Tour of Switzerland. This 1000 miles combination of Swiss roads is the ultimate road trip showing you the highlights of Switzerland by car.

Planning the trip

If you are looking to complete the whole road trip, it is advisable to take into account that the whole route takes at least seven days. This number of days can rise easily depending on how many highlights and tourist attractions you wish to visit. The Grand Tour of Switzerland covers five different regions including Wallis, Ticino, and Luzern. Since the highest point of the route is located at 8000 ft above sea level (Furka Pass), the best time to drive the Grand Tour of Switzerland is during summer (April to October). It can be driven in both directions but it is recommended to make the journey clockwise. This is because some cities have one-way streets and the signposts are limited to the clockwise direction of travel.

Cities to visit

The Grand Tour of Switzerland promises surreal mountain landscapes. Iconic peaks such as the Monte Rosa, the Eiger, and the Matterhorn are on your route, but there is more. The charming villages of cities are an inspiration for many tourist’s travel itineraries. Let’s start in Bern, the medieval capital of Switzerland, with stunning views of the river Aare or the Alps in the distance. Hidden in this mountainous landscape of the Alps lies Luzern, as a gateway to the center of Switzerland. The fresco-covered houses are lined alongside the car-free streets of the historic center. St Moritz is winter holiday resort that has lured celebrities for decades. But even in summer, this city has plenty to offer for tourists. It is the finishing point of one of the most scenic train trips in the world: the Glacier Express. If you talk about mountaineering history, the Eiger will be mentioned one way or another. The charming village of Interlaken is the base for hundreds of mountaineers taking their chances on the notorious North Face of the Eiger. Best to be seen from one of the many terraces in the village center.

Highlights

Whether you like impressive alpine passes, picturesque villages or the cultural aspect of traveling, the Grand Tour of Switzerland offers scenic routes for all types of travelers. The route alongside Lake Thun offers some of the best views of the Bernese Alps while the route from Ardon to Saillon takes you through the Valais region. This is where the wine culture is an important part of the daily life. Vineyards are flourishing on the rocky faces and making a stop at a wine farm is an absolute must. The alpine feeling really comes to live when you pass the Tremola, the historic pass snaking around hairpin bends featured in the James Bond movie Goldfinger.

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Henrique Kerch

I’m a Caracas native, living in Chicago. I have a passion for travel, culture, food, adventure and discovering new places off the beaten path. I still remember the first trip I took internationally as a child and the excitement that it was to know that everyone will speak another language. Traveling was cool—waking up early to make the trip to the airport, packing too much and then realizing it’s much better to pack light.

Now a travel writer, I get to see new places continually, check out new restaurants, and talk about my experiences. Just as I’m about to be done with a trip, I see myself at the airport daydreaming while staring at the departure board thinking about my next destination.